Who could have deliberately released a rare and deadly African plague that is now spreading uncontrollably throughout America's largest urban areas? A lone determined doctor desperately and... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marissa Blumenthal
Dr. Harbuck
Stephen Caffrey ...
Dr. Dubcheck
Dr. Williams
Dr. Clayman
Joe Minjares ...
Dr. Newman
Ritch Brinkley ...
Restaurant Host
Greg Blanchard ...
Man in Morgue
Ms. Hopper
Brian Brophy ...
L.A. Reporter
Reporter #1
Eric Fleeks ...


Who could have deliberately released a rare and deadly African plague that is now spreading uncontrollably throughout America's largest urban areas? A lone determined doctor desperately and fearlessly searches for the truth, but she soon finds herself targeted for death as well. With time running out to save human kind, Dr. Marissa Blumenthal discovers that the strange disease may have actually been unleashed by the medical establishment itself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Release Date:

8 May 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robin Cook's Virus  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Outbreak (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Dx: Normal.
10 April 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

There's this pretty, young doctor, see, and she is kind of sassy and she thinks she's stumbled across some kind of conspiracy. She works in a bureaucracy and when she tells others of her suspicions, nobody believes her, except maybe her boyfriend who is also a doctor but who isn't around much. At one point she's alone in a big institution while people rummage around looking for her, stumbling through basements and whatnot, probably out to kill her, but she escapes through a window. At another point she's trapped in a reefer with a lot of dead bodies in plastic bags. A hit man pursues her but she outwits him. A trusted friend makes a suspicious phone call when she's not supposed to be listening. Turns out there is corruption at the top, with big-name people embodying raw capitalism.

I know it sounds like Robin Cook's "Coma," but it's not. It's Robin Cook's "Virus."

Boy, he did some effective recycling here. It's like three-card monte. He's shuffled them so well you have a tough time keeping track of the similarities. As a novelist, Cook has an eye for interesting stories but tends towards repetitiousness and pedestrian prose. The people who made this movie exhibit the same level of talent. It gets the job done, but not much more than that.

The MacGuffin here -- the deliberate use of the ebola virus as a murder weapon -- is more intrinsically interesting than Coma's use of Organ Transplants R Us. But that makes these plodding results the more disappointing. These viruses are deadly and there is no way of stopping them once they hit their stride. And yet we learn virtually nothing about the virus except that it is injected into victims with an air gun. It might as well be a .38 revolver for all the implications that can be read into it.

The viruses are frankly scarier than the movie makes them out to be. We don't know what they are or where they come from. It could be argued that they're not even alive. Some, like the tobacco mosaic virus, can be dried and turned into crystals. They're oddly shaped protein shells surrounding some DNA. They don't reproduce -- exactly. They invade a normal cell and convert it to the production of more viruses. It's like Apple Computers invading Microsoft's headquarters and ordering everyone at gunpoint to produce nothing but more Apple products. They come from all over, mostly from rainforests that humans have only recently invaded. The influenza virus outbreak of 1918 wiped out a substantial number of humans. And we don't know any more about stopping them now than we did then. They are nothing to sneeze at.

"Virus" kind of trivializes the threat. It should have been called not "Virus" but "Conspiracy," because that's the focus of the story. The peformances are no more than adequate, except that Caffrey and Devane are reliable and welcome whenever they're on screen. Bernson makes a poor heavy. Nicolette Sheridan has the face, figure, and acting talent of a model. (A little gratuitous nudity here might have helped the movie, or maybe a steamy scene of Sheridan and Devane making strenuous love while crashing around in the Max Lab among smashed vials of virulent hot agents.)

Pass that air gun, would you?

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